The book, Social Media for Journalists, greatly outlines all aspects of modern journalism, including how a professional brand is essential to competing in today’s slimming marketplace.
“This book proposes a new way of examining the practical skills that are necessary to thrive as a journalist, and the principles governing the new media ecology for those working within it, consuming it and researching it.” Pg. 1, Social Media for Journalists. This quote lays the groundwork for not only the first three chapters, but the remaining ones as well. Journalism today is not at all what it was ten years ago or even five for that matter; today it’s a whole other ball game.
Professional journalists today are successfully bolstering their presence, socially, in many ways.
First, they are finding and executing their niche in the ecology of new media. They are learning to thrive in the areas where they feel comfortable while at the same time capitalizing on their brand. Branding in the ecology of media means interacting with other people and sharing their content instead of just your own. This is key before anything else, the groundwork, if you will.
Once you find your niche, you can move on to the grit of journalism, like sourcing and verifying those sources. “The closer the journalist operates to the network, represented on the horizontal line of the matrix in Figure 2.1 the more he may rely on many people getting in touch about small issues.” Pg. 16, Social Media for Journalists. Strategist, Andy Carvin for National Public Radio is popular for exactly that as he takes information given to him through social media and uses that info as a source.
At first, that seemed a little far-fetched to me, but the more I read the more it made sense. An example of this method being successful is the Boston bombing. At the time, people that were at the attack were tweeting on sight. That first-hand information was the most trusted at the time, so trusted in fact that news stations were turning to Twitter to get their facts because all the secondary information they were getting was scrambled at best.
Social media is a fast and accurate way to get information. When thinking in context of a terror attack like the Boston bombing, utilizing social media as a source really made sense. The only thing with using media as a source is making sure it’s credible. Its easier to tell if a person is lying over a computer, so verifying information accessed online is a very big concern for journalists, as they need always be on alert because nothing can ruin a career faster than reporting backed by faulty sources.
Journalist Andy Carvin
“There are only so many times during one’s career where an entire news operation is built from scratch — the only two that come to mind over the last generation or two are CNN and Al Jazeera — so it’s really exciting to get involved as one is being crafted and to help with that.” – personal quote in reference to designing a new media entity.